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Old 06-25-2019, 04:27 PM
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Torque Wrench Recommendation

Hey guys,

I'm looking for a new torque wrench recommendation . I've always had a mechanical torque wrench but see that the accuracy and price point on digital torque wrenches is pretty good. Anyone have any thoughts on either? I'm thinking of sticking with the tried and true mechanical mainly because I don't have to worry about keeping the battery fresh and the times I use it have it corroded or dead. What do you think? Thanks

Dave

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Old 06-25-2019, 04:38 PM
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Im old school, i believe in the mechanical ones, that i have had for years....several brands from Sears to Proto to Snap On....up to 300 lb-ft...and i get them checked about every 2 years...only have been off by 1/2 lb on one after all those years.....

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Old 06-25-2019, 05:51 PM
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I run a Crapsman. But I'm a SM at a Navistar dealer and we have an essential tool that is a wall mount digital torque tester (DTT) that I have to send out to be re-calibrated annually. Point being, find an International dealer as they all have one hanging on the wall somewhere and see if they'll check the calibration for you for free.

Save your money from a digital unit - they work as accurately as a clicker from 30 years ago.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:30 PM
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This may surprise some folks, but the Pittsburg torque wrenches sold by Harbor Freight have tested to be as good as some of the major tool brands like Snap-On, Craftsman, Proto, Matco, Mac.

One of the car mags did a test on a dozen or so models

Ahh, I found one of the tests:
https://www.hotrod.com/articles/ccrp...rench-testing/

The little digital cube used to turn your 1/2 breaker bar into a torque wrench was surprisingly accurate too.

Another internet review, for your reading pleasure
https://reviews.thedailymeal.com/rev...orque-wrenches

Biggest factor with any brand clicker type wrench is ALWAYS return them to ZERO setting before storing them.
It might be overkill, but I set mine back to zero even if I am going to use it again the next day at the very same setting. Takes just a minute to do, and every little bit helps. My Dad has a 53 year old Craftsman 1/2" that still tests perfectly good against other wrenches, he was always careful to zero it and drilled that info into our heads when we were kids starting to get into wrenching.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:07 PM
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Ok thanks I guess I'll stick with old school mechanical like myself. Thanks
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:00 PM
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I also agree store the wrench at zero after use. Here is a brand that might surprise some CDI, they produce the snap-on wrench. The one I have is the same Snap-on click 1⁄2-inch, @ half the price, different packaging.

The biggest feature I like and found, torque values are engraved on the sleave and shaft, never to fade away.. The head also has a lock out feature, if someone wanted to back a fastener off or sung before setting it.

Pep

"Ahh, I found one of the tests:
https://www.hotrod.com/articles/ccrp...rench-testing/ "
I found it amusing talked about 3 brand names, every picture of usage was sporting the Sanp-on

Last edited by rip-tide; 06-25-2019 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 12-24-2019, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72 View Post
This may surprise some folks, but the Pittsburg torque wrenches sold by Harbor Freight have tested to be as good as some of the major tool brands like Snap-On, Craftsman, Proto, Matco, Mac...
How accurate are they after they've been used for a few years?

Cheap torque wrenches cause a lot of problems. Same with cheap measurement equipment--digital calipers, electronic micrometers, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72 View Post
Biggest factor with any brand clicker type wrench is ALWAYS return them to ZERO setting before storing them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rip-tide View Post
I also agree store the wrench at zero after use.
NO!

Turn them to the LOWEST MARKED TORQUE on the wrench. A 20--100 torque wrench gets turned to 20. A 50-250 wrench gets turned to 50.

This applies to "Micrometer adjusting" "clicker" torque wrenches. A split-beam "clicker" has no need to be turned down.

When selecting a torque wrench, be aware that the two firms I've personally dealt with for calibration/testing services charge about double to work on "electronic" torque wrenches versus mechanical.

I don't know who made my Mac "micrometer" clickers, but I've had them in professional, and then in hobby use since the early-to-mid-1990s or so. They were tested by Team Torque a couple years ago, and were just fine.

My 750-inch pound torque wrench (Jo-Line) was made in 1975, and also tested fine.

Buying Harbor Fright or other bottom-feeder Chinese junk "Tool-shaped Objects" is false economy.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:57 PM
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I like to waste my money, but I absolutely love my Snap-On Angle Torque torque wrenches. I have the 1/2" and the 3/8".

Keith
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:28 PM
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Splitting hairs, first want a torque wrench every bit as good as the Snap-on

Same tool engraved scales, knurled hand grip, talking side by side same, and for a good reason.

The tools both go out the same front door. The snap-on head is different, oh and the red box less not forget that,

The brand name is CDI, now to split the hair. A torque wrench does not have a zero on the scale. For instance a 20 - 250, lowest setting is 20, and for that wrench that is zero respectively.

pep
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Old 12-25-2019, 02:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rip-tide View Post
A torque wrench does not have a zero on the scale. For instance a 20 - 250, lowest setting is 20, and for that wrench that is zero respectively.
But that's not as far down as the handle can be turned. The handle will go below the lowest number; although it shouldn't.
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Old 12-25-2019, 07:03 AM
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I have an assortment of junk except I suppose the beam type are accurate. The reason for the post, with the clickers, I have a 1/4, 3/8", 1/2", and all of them are a pain in the rear to get the setting locked in. Sometimes it seems to lock in but then it comes loose, and other times I have to get a pair of pliers to loosen up the locking knob. Is this common with all, or just the cheapo's I have? I have BTW vise gripped my 1/4" beam and clicker and my 3/8" beam and clicker together and tested them against each other and they test pretty close. Then I've torqued a bolt with the 3/8" and marked it, backed it off then did it again with the 1/2" and it was close that way also. But those dang locking knobs drive me nuts.
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Old 12-25-2019, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schurkey View Post
But that's not as far down as the handle can be turned. The handle will go below the lowest number; although it shouldn't.
True, and unscrew, come apart, also get out too far it will affect the click action, not recommended.

pep
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Old 12-25-2019, 08:35 AM
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I guess I'm old school. I have a Snap On and a Harbor Freight clicker. The HF I bought just to use at the track checking lug nuts. I also have a beam type. If I'm really concerned about accuracy I use the beam. As long as it comes to zero with no load I know it's correct - nothing to get out of calibration. As far as the clickers go, I can confirm what Ericnova72 says about the HF vs. the Snap On. I've found that cheapo HF wrench to be as accurate and repeatable as the Snap On. I know that's blasphemy but that's what I've found after comparing them multiple times. However, I still won't use it on anything critical.
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Old 12-25-2019, 10:26 AM
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The only electronic instrument I ever owned was a 6" digital caliper. Every time I reached for it, the batteries were dead. PHOOEY. No more of that crap.

I should have been born in 1875. That would have put me right in the thick of the new auto production boom, 25 years old in 1900. That way, I could have enjoyed the car hobby for 50 to 60 years and would have been dead by the time computers rolled around. Actually, I would also have missed Federally-mandated emissions that began in 1967, bringing with it the foulest running, gas-guzzling crap ever known to automotive mankind. OK, end of rant......Merry Christmas and Happy New Year..........

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Old 12-25-2019, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55 Tony View Post
with the clickers, I have a 1/4, 3/8", 1/2", and all of them are a pain in the rear to get the setting locked in. Sometimes it seems to lock in but then it comes loose, and other times I have to get a pair of pliers to loosen up the locking knob. Is this common with all, or just the cheapo's I have?
My Macs have a spring-loaded collar that is pulled down to adjust, then pops back up to lock. Simple, easy, effective.

My Jo-Line has a twist collar, spins one way to adjust, then has to be turned the other way to lock. Not as nice as the Macs. If I don't turn it back far enough, it doesn't lock, and then I'm unhappy. Need to be careful in turning the collar. I can't post photos here--but I just looked and it's older than I thought. 3-74, not 1975 like I said earlier.

If you need a pliers to "loosen up the locking knob" there's something wrong. If you're lucky, some aerosol lube (JB-80, for example) will smooth-out the mechanism and flush any contamination--dirt, hardened grease, etc.

Beyond that...Team Torque or Angle Repair. (There are others, but I've done business with these two.) Or Amazon for new CDIs.

Last edited by Schurkey; 12-25-2019 at 04:00 PM.
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